One great way to keep a thick, full lawn is with regular grass over-seeding. We can assist you in matching the existing lawn in your landscape or converting to a new blend of grass.The choice of grass seed blends and mixes is not something to be taken lightly. A proper blend and mix of grass seed is essential to having the most beautiful lawn on the block. Chances are, if you bought that big cheap bag of Kentucky-31 fescue from the hardware store, you’ve already done yourself a huge disservice. Kentucky-31 is a rough, wide bladed grass. As a fescue variety, it grows in clumps. A normal tall fescue lawn would use kentucky blue grass to fill in the gaps between those clumps, but the difference between the sizes of Kentucky-31 and Kentucky Blue doesn’t aesthetically fill the gaps. To fix the problem, you have to get rid of the Kentucky-31, but since it’s fescue, the only way to do that is with non-selective chemicals such as glyphosate or “Round-up” products.
Grass Seed Blends versus Grass Seed Mixtures
A blend of seeds is typically multiple seeds of the same type (tall fescue) but with different varieties (crossfire, defiance xre, avenger, etc). A mixture of seeds is typically multiple seeds of different types. Bluegrass and fescue would be considered a mix. Healthy lawns in the transition zone are typically 90-95% tall fescue and 5-10% Kentucky Bluegrass. A blend of at least 3 varieties of tall fescue mixed with just one variety of Kentucky Bluegrass is the optimal mix for a new lawn. We use less bluegrass because it is not as hearty of a grass as fescue. Bluegrass is more susceptible to drought and fungus issues than fescue. So the goal is to have just enough bluegrass to fill in the gaps, but not enough to cause serious trouble every year.
Established lawns only need to be over-seeded with tall fescue each year, barring any fungal diseases on the Kentucky Bluegrass. Since the bluegrass is rhizomous, it will continue to spread and fill in any gaps between the tall fescue clumps without being re-seeded each year.
We use national seed rating indexes to ensure we are choosing the best seed blends commercially available for our clients. One such index is the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program and it’s findings are available to the public for free at http://www.ntep.org/reports/ratings.htm.
How Long Until You See Results From Overseeding?
Fescue grass seed tends to begin germinating about 10-14 days after initially being watered in. By the 3rd or 4th week, the grass is said to be established. After 8-16 weeks, fescue grass is expected to have matured. Since grass goes dormant, we do not count the dormant weeks as a part of the maturing period. Only actively growing months are counted. Without the other factors necessary for growing a healthy lawn, it is very possible that over-seeding may not be successful. Soil structure, nutrients, and oxygen availability, as well as mowing height, mowing blade sharpness, mowing frequency, and regular watering practices are all factors that must be managed to get the most out of your overseeding. Our staff can provide you with expert service in all of these areas, including over-seeding your lawn.